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Nanjing (南京; Nánjīng), historically also Nanking, is the capital city of Jiangsu Province in the People's Republic of China. It is situated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and is the central city of the lower Yangtze Basin.

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Points of Interest in Nanjing

The city pass can be bought for ¥100 at the entrance to any of the big parks in the city, such as the zoo or Yuhuatai Memorial Park and provides you with free entry to 21 different locations. You need to provide a passport photo for each pass and they are valid for one calendar year.

  • Qin Huai River (秦淮河). Qin Huai River, a branch of the great Yangtze River, is 110 kilometers (about 68 miles) in length and covers a drainage area of 2,631 square kilometers (about 1,016 square miles). The river was originally called Huai River, and it is said that the river was channeled to the city of Nanjing during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, so it was named Qin Huai River from then on. Qin Huai River is the largest river in the Nanjing City area and is the 'life blood' of the city. Qin Huai River is so fascinating that it captures the imaginations of people both at home and abroad.There are many famous sites of interest along the banks of the Qin Huai River , including Confucius Temple just 5 minutes away, Zhanyuan Garden, Zhonghua Gate, and the sights along the Taoye Ferry ride to Zhenhuai Bridge.Taking the painted boats to cruise on the Qinhuai River, visitors can not only admire the sights along the river but can also experience the traditional culture of Nanjing. Visitors can take boats at different wharfs to admire the scenery along the river.
  • City Wall of Nanjing (城墙). The City Wall of Nanjing was designed by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (r. 1368-1398) after he founded the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) and established Nanjing as the capital 600 years ago. To consolidate his sovereignty and keep out invaders, he adopted the suggestions of advisor Zhu Sheng to build a higher city wall, to collect grains and to postpone the coronation. Then, he started to build the city wall. It took 21 years for the project, which involved 200,000 laborers to move 7 million cubic meters of earth.
The Nanjing Confucius Temple (Fuxi Miao) at night
  • Confucius Temple (夫子/夫子廟). Once an imperial examination testing center for the entire Jiangsu region, this museum comprises a tiny fraction of the once-massive original buildings. The rest of the site is a massive, labyrinthine market; a top tourist draw in Nanjing and a place where you can get all your haggling out of your system. Get your picture taken with the Confucius sculpture and grab some tea on one of the gondolas on the canal. On the southern side of town next to Zhonghua Gate and the Taiping Museum.
  • The Gate of China (Zhonghuamen) (中华门), Zhonghuanan Lu (Take subway line 1 to Zhonghuamen station and get out at exit #2, cross the highway and turn right, keep walking till you get to Yuhua lu, turn left and head straight to the gate). The southern gate of Nanjing's city wall; this massive gate is one of the best preserved parts of Nanjing's city wall, and one of the best remaining examples of early Ming defensive architecture extant anywhere. The wooden castle at top was destroyed by fire, but the immense masonry (each complete with the mason's name and home province by order of the emperor) substructure remains. Two courtyards contain an archery range and vegetable gardens. The main gate has three immense depots within where, long emptied of provisions, you can find some scale models and exhibits about the gate. In one depot you can find an air raid siren used during the Japanese attack on the city. Free to look. ¥30 to climb.
  • Ruins of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Palace (明故宫遗址), ZhongshanDong Lu (Directly above Minggugong subway station on line 2). The palace was built by the first Ming Emperor in 1366 and originally stretched 2.5km in length. It was completely destroyed in the Qing Dynasty and what remains today barely hints at its size. In the tree shaded southern half are the small section of wall holding the huge arches of the Meridian Gate, five stone 'Outer Dragon' bridges and a array of megaliths, some baring fragments of carvings. The site was effectively a prototype of Beijing's Forbidden City as the layout was copied by the Emperors grandson when he moved the capital northwards in 1421. Free.
The Nanjing Massacre Memorial is a chilling reminder of Nanjing's place in history during World War II
  • Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall (侵華日軍南京大屠殺遇難同胞紀念館), 418 Shuiximen DaJie (Next to YunJinLu Subway station), e-mail: 830-1630; Closed Mondays. A memorial for the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who died at the hands of Japanese troops in Nanjing during World War II. Two partially excavated mass-burial sites reveal victims remains in situ, accompanied by insightful information boards around the walkway. The elongated sites sympathetically restrained architecture and beautifully maintained gardens are interspersed with sculptures, murals and other artworks that inspire solemn meditations. Close to the entrance is the recently opened museum exhibiting multitudes of photos, videos and objects to tell the full story, somewhat even-handedly, that can easily occupy you for hours. Captions are in English, Chinese, and Japanese. Entrance lines can be long, so plan accordingly. Free.
  • Nanjing Museum (南京博物院), 321 ZhongshanDong Lu (Next to Zhongshan Gate). 830-1700. Eleven exhibition halls display a mixture of poetry, bronzes and silk artifacts interspersed with cultural displays. Worth pondering over are a jade burial suit and an arched door from the Ming era Porcelain Pagoda. A great place to spend humid or rainy days. Free.
  • Presidential Palace (总统府), 292 Changjiang Lu. 830-18. Spend a day exploring the headquarters of past emperors and the Nationalist government. The Palace includes the former offices of many top governmental officials, including Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat-sen, as well as the former residence of Sun Yat-sen. It is one the few places in mainland China where the flag of the Republic of China still flies. Informational placards around the palace are printed in four languages. ¥40.
  • Taiping Kingdom History Museum (太平天国历史博物馆). A small museum focusing on the Taiping Rebellion (1843-1868), a piece of history not well known in the West. This was one of the bloodiest conflicts in recorded history — some estimates put the death toll higher than for World War I, and it was certainly much worse than the American Civil War at about the same time, even though the Chinese used more primitive weapons. It was a crucial moment in China's relationship with the West, modernity, and its relationship to its own imperial history. It was partly a religious movement; the leader claimed to be God's second son, Jesus' younger brother. The quasi-Christian, peasant-led rebellion overran an area greater than Texas with Nanjing as its capital. At different times it threatened both the foreign settlements in Shanghai and the Qing government in Beijing, though it did not take either. On exhibit are documents relating to Taiping history and the grinding reduction of their movement by enterprising Qing generals and their European auxiliaries, culminating in the siege of Nanjing. Next door are the beautiful Zhanyuan Gardens.
  • Jiangsu Province Kunqu Theatre. This highly-regarded theater company in Nanjing will give you a chance to see Kunqu Opera, a traditional Chinese art form, firsthand. Expect the dialogue to be sung in ancient Chinese, but LED subtitling in English and contemporary Chinese characters is provided.
  • Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (南京长江大桥). This 6km bridge over the Yangtze has sculptures that are classics of Chinese sociallist art; with workers and farmers carrying tools, soldiers carrying weapons, and all of them holding books, most likely Quotations of Chairman Mao Zedong (better known as The Little Red Book). The bridge was built after Soviet advisors left China during the Sino-Soviet Split of the 1960's, and is therefore the first major project built entirely by Chinese, without foreign help. A new town is currently being constructed on the other side, which may include a direct subway connection in the future.
  • Jiming Temple, No.1 Ji Ming Si Road, ☎ 025-57715595. Jiming Temple is the most popular temple in Nanjing and it is located convenient to downtown. Near Xuanwu Lake, there are several bus stops nearby with over 20 buses pass like no. 3, 11, 20, 31and so on.

Tickets are ¥5, which includes 3 free incense with every ticket.

  • Meihuashan Formerly known as Wu Wangfen here, after Wang Jingwei buried here, here renamed Meihuashan. area ticket, 70 yuan, including the Ming Tomb, Plum Blossom Hill, PlumValley Arts BUILDING Red, Purple Cloud Lake 5 attractions.
  • Nanjing Yuejiang Lou (南京阅江楼). Yuejianglou overall as "L" type, north wing, wing wings West, can watch the beautiful Yangtze river. The main building on the flanks of the horn, and four in three a total of seven floors, a total height of 51meters, a total construction area of 5000square meters, the wings each to Xie Shanding level decreasing, the roof be zigzag, ups and downs, and changeable, contour and beautiful; the roof covering yellow glazed tile, with green glazed tile edge, color Xianli; eaves brackets painted different, pillars, doors and windows red in the dark, obviously having an antique flavour.

Purple Mountain 紫金山

Some say that Nanjing is all about Tombs. Plan an entire day just exploring the mountain and surrounding areas. The park has a shuttle "train" you can ride and is included in the price of certain tickets. There is also a cable car going up the hill for ¥25 one-way and ¥45 round-trip, or you can walk. The area is home to the tombs of three very important emperors:

The Sifangcheng Pavilion of the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum
  • Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (明孝陵). The most famous Ming-era site of Nanjing, Ming Xiaoling is the mausoleum complex of Zhu Yuanzhang, also known as the Hongwu Emperor, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Most of the monuments are lined up along the mile-long Sacred Way (shendao), which runs from the Square Pavilion (Sifangcheng) with its giant bixi turtle to the artificial hill where the emperor is supposed to have been buried. Look out for the stone camels and elephants of the sacred way, as well as for the site's second turtle - homage of the Kangxi Emperor, the greatest emperor of the Qing dynasty, to his Ming predecessor.

The site's third turtle - the least known of the three, but the biggest and most mysterious - was found in a nearby ravine in the late 20th century, and is now installed in the Red Chamber Culture Park (红楼艺文苑, Honglou Yiwen Yuan), which is located just east of the main Ming Xiaoling complex, and can be visited on the same ticket.

  • Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (中山陵). Resting place of the leader of the 1911 revolution.
  • The tomb of Sun Quan (孙权墓). From the Three Kingdoms period

A Purple Mountain pass might be worth buying if you plan on visiting 2 or 3 of the parks on the mountain. The Purple Mountain pass can be bought for ¥100 at the entrance to Sun Yat-sen's Memorial (and possibly at any of the other parks on the mountain) and provides you with entry to nine parks.

Outside the city

  • QiXia Temple (栖霞寺) (From Nanjing, take a bus from the small bus station west of the Railway Station subway stop, leave from exit 1 and head 100m past the KFC. The bus doesn’t have a number, instead look for the () characters on the front. The fare is Y3 and takes about 50mins. Enroute the bus passes through a bucolic village then back onto the highway. Get off when it gets to a second village and stops on a bridge. QiXia Si is back toward the village centre.). A one time retreat for Emperor QianLong, the temple at the foot of maple forested hillside now draws hoards of less exulted visitors to clamber along the network of trails connecting fancifully named pavilions, ponds, tombs and natural stone features. The temple itself is not extensive, having only a pair of identical looking bell and drum towers in front of an austerely large hall, embedded with elegant lacquer-red window frames, containing a relatively contemporary, yet gracefully benevolent looking gigantic Buddha seated on a golden lotus. At the rear of the hall is a pair of intricately carved cabinets of a more impressively authentic vintage housing stone Buddha and Guanyin statues. The temple allegedly has an ancient bone relic purported to be from the historical Buddha, though it is kept well hidden. Further up the hill is a cluster of stone formations bifurcated by a steep canyon, believed to have been split in antiquity by mystical forces, that enables accent up a stair way to a pavilion and a high view over the valley. Higher up the hill are the crumbling remnants of group of buildings used by Qianlong’s army.

The best time to visit is during autumn when the maple trees are radiating orange or Spring when the peach blossoms are loaded with pink and white flowers. ¥20.

  • Yangshan Quarry (阳山碑材) (the Nanjing-Tangshan Line (南汤线, Nan-Tan Xian) bus from the Nanjing Railway Station.). The three section of a gigantic stele, which the Yongle Emperor commissioned for the mausoleum of his father the Hongwu Emperor can be seen here in situ. The project was never completed, as the Ming engineers realized that there is no way the stone monoliths could be moved out of here to Ming Xiaoling.

Temple of Confucius

Nanjing Presidential Palace

Nanjing Drum Tower

Xu Garden

Zhonghua Men Gate

Nanjing University

Southeast University

Nanjing City Wall

Nanjing Aeronautics and Astronautics University

Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

Xuan Wu Lake Park

Nanjing Museum

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum

Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Nanjing Botanical Garden

Linggu Temple

Hohai University

Purple Mountain Observatory

Jiangsu Nanjing TV Tower

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About Nanjing


Nanjing means "southern capital" (Beijing is "northern capital".) It is a renowned historical and cultural city and was the capital of several dynasties over the course of Chinese history. It has many historical sites including Ming tombs that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was most recently the capital of China under the Kuomintang, from 1927 until their retreat to Taiwan in 1949. With a current urban population of approximately 5 million people, Nanjing is an important center for commerce and trade in Eastern China.


This place is fun to stroll around seeing both things to sell and sellers as the environment is quite charming.


Local specialties include xiaolongbao (小笼包), thin skinned dumplings filled with soup and meat, that are served steaming hot in baskets and tangbao (汤包), which are similar, but much larger and filled with crab meat and soup. The soup in these is drank with a straw. Restaurants serving these can be found all over Nanjing usually in small hole in the wall restaurants or dining halls (餐厅) for cheap. You'll usually be able to find them served along side yaxue fensi duck blood noodles (鸭血粉丝) another local specialty.


  • Nanjing has dozens of small noodle (miantiao) and pot sticker (jiaozi) shops on many of its streets. Qingdao Lu, a secondary street running northbound before the intersection of Shanghai Lu and Guangzhou Lu has a few excellent miantiao shops, including a Hui restaurant (Hui are a Chinese ethnic group that practices Islam), which serves only mutton and beef. Here, a massive bowl of hot soup and noodles will only cost you about ¥6. The area closer to Nanjing University has plenty of good, cheap eats, including a series of jiaozi vendors. At most Jiaozi shops you order and pay at the cashier desk by the entrance and you'll be given a ticket which you must take to the serving window.
  • If it's late-night munchies you're after, just head down any small backstreet and follow your nose and you're sure to find a small BBQ joint. These smokey little restaurants offer spicy meat kebabs (usually beef or lamb) along with BBQ'd vegetables, bread, fish and even sticky-rice balls and also serve beer at about ¥3 per bottle.
  • If you're after genuine hand-made dumplings, there's an excellent dumpling restaurant (with an English menu) just off Ninghai Rd - dumplings come in a variety of fillings in sets of 6 priced between ¥2 and ¥5, although you must order at least 2 sets.
  • If you can't read chinese and you're a bit picky on what you eat, there's an excellent restaurant called A Simple Diet, located just off Hunan Road (next to McDonalds). Here they have taken the Japanese innovation of recreating the menu items in plastic so that you can simply point and order. You'll be given a card upon entry - when you order, hand it to the staff who will stamp your card. When you leave, take your card to the cashier's desk to pay.
  • You can find inexpensive, Western-style sandwiches at the popular American sub shop Subway, which has four stores in Nanjing; two in the Carrefour stores, one in the Golden Wheel shopping mall, and one in the popular Da Yang department store. The Walmart (wa-er-ma) in Xinjiekou has an extensive grocery and live foods market on the basement level. McDonalds has a number of restaruants in the city, if you're interested in their ¥7 menu (the Chinese equivalent of the Dollar Menu).
  • If you want to self-cater of just stock up on snacks/drinks then Nanjing has plenty of supermarkets and convenience stores. The main supermarkets in the central area are Times Extra (on Zhongyang Lu close to Xinmofan Lu subway station), Lotus (near Zhongyangmen Bus Station), Walmart (on the 2nd floor of Wanda Plaza Mall in Xinjiekou) and Carrefour (on Zhongshan Dong Lu). There are also many Suguo CVS convenience stores which are similar to 7-Eleven and stock drinks, snacks, instant noodles and cigarettes. Most Suguo stores accept payment using the IC transport card. There's a high end BHG supermarket on the basement (food court) level of Aqua City mall.


  • Soul Mate, Nan Xiu Cun 15-1 (near Shanghai road), ☎ +86 25 8332 8418. Western-style restaurant and coffee bar owned by French expats, with homemade pizzas, burgers, salads and French dishes for reasonable prices. It's a good place to have a few drinks and food in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
  • LES 5 SENS 乐尚法国餐厅, 52-1 Hankou Lu (near Shanghai road), ☎ +86 25-83 59 58 59, e-mail: 11h30 to 22h00. French restaurant with a French Chef and a cosy atmosphere, providing traditional and family homemade french dishes. ¥38-119.
  • Gold & Silver 金银餐厅, 金银街. Gold and Silver is located on Jinyin Jie. It has reopened. It is located right across from the Nanjing University International Student Dormitories right off of Shanghai Lu. ¥10–¥30.
  • Old Place Sichuan Food 老地方餐厅, 金银街. Old Place is located on Jinyin Jie. It is located right across from the Nanjing University International Student Dormitories right off of Shanghai Lu. ¥10–¥30.
  • Skyways Bakery (also known as the German Bakery). Owned by a German/Belgian couple Their sandwiches are of good quality and quite large and include a drink. They also have good salads and coffee at reasonable prices. Check out the bulletin board for employment opportunities in the city. ¥27.
  • Shanghai Lu (just South of Bejing Xi Lu), ☎ +86 25 8663 4834.
  • Xianlin Location: A18, Yadong Commercial Plaza, 12 North Xianyin Road (From subway Line 2, exit Xueze Lu Subway station. Walk west 1 block to Xianyin Bei Lu, turn right. Walk along Yadong City complex about 2 blocks, and Skyway will be on your left.), ☎ +86 25 8579 1391.
  • German Bread Store. If you're missing some taste from home, or just looking for good bread and sandwiches, try this cafe next to Nanjing Normal University. They serve sandwiches, drinks, and various styles of original German bread. You'll probably find foreign visitors here are all ours, with lots of customers speaking various European languages. ¥20.
  • Kung (main gate of the Mei Hua Shan Zhuang compound). ~¥150 for four. A Korean-owned restaurant, very popular among Nanjing's Korean community. Kung serves a wide variety of traditional Korean dishes such as bulgogi and kimchi (in all its colorful variations). Order a selection of dishes and split them over four or five friends.
  • 24hr Coffee Tea. (Could someone else confirm the closing of 24hr Coffee Tea.)

This comfortable, yet unassuming, place has excellent coffee and tea as well as reasonable lunch options. The little Bento box deals are terrific, and come with a cup of soup and fruit. The servers are very attentive and the food typically comes out very fast. Be warned that the menu is all Chinese characters (no pinyin) and the servers do not speak English, so brush up on your Mandarin. Wi-Fi is available if you have either a China Mobile or China Unicom account. The two locations are located right across from each other on either side of the Shanghai Lu. ~¥100.

  • Blue Sky (on Shanghai Lu). Expat bar that is particularly popular with Australians with a pool table and jukebox. A sort of eclectic menu that offers pub fare like burgers or Indian food like vindaloo. The service can be slow, so don't try to grab a quick lunch here. If you're hurting for an ale or stout (Chinese beer is invariably light) you can break up the monotony with a nice heavy import. ~¥100.
  • There is an extensive food court underneath Xinjiekou off of Fashion Lady shopping mall with lots and lots of options. Included is a Dairy Queen.


  • Yi Palace, E5, No 388 Yingtian Street, Qinhuai District (Chenguang 1865 Technology Park) (from Ying Tian Street, make a right on Jiang Ning Road and go straight for 50m and you will arrive at Regalia Resort & Spa), ☎ +86 25 5188 5688, toll-free: 400 115 3388, fax: +86 25 5188 5656, e-mail: 11am-10pm. Yi Palace is located in Regalia Resort & Spa, and has a private setting with windows overlooking the beautiful Qing Huai River. There are 6 private VIP dining rooms with contemporary Thai and Chinese décor and offering the best Chinese cuisine.
  • Lotus, E5, No 388 Yingtian Street, Qinhuai District (Chenguang 1865 Technology Park) (from Ying Tian Street, make a right on Jiang Ning Road and go straight for 50m and you will arrive at Regalia Resort & Spa), ☎ +86 25 5188 5688, toll-free: 400 115 3388, fax: +86 25 5188 5656, e-mail: 7am-11pm. The Lotus Restaurant, located in Regalia Resort & Spa, offers a stunning view of Qinhuai River and authentic Thai and Chinese cuisine, while the Outdoor Cafe pays a delicious homage to delectable fusion cuisine that will surely entice your palate.
  • OMAX Restaurant, 5th floor, Bangkok Yatai Plaza (in the Xinjiekou District). Offers a good steak, for ¥68, and other "western-style" meals as well as Chinese dishes. The owner and hostess speak fairly good English and there is often a piano player.
  • Skyways Bakery. Lots of relatively expensive baked goods. The apple pies, tarts, and cheesecake are all excellent. They also have cinnamon rolls, croissants, muffins and cookies. Nice, though small, selection of ice cream too.
  • Jack's. Barely passable Italian food, but decent enough if you have been in China a few years. Some staff have good English and many of the customers are expats. Pasta or pizza is around ¥40-60, while good steaks start around ¥70.
  • Tairo. Japanese "teppanyaki" restaurant in the Nanjing 1912 district. Excellent food, and a decent option if you have a lot of extra yuan burning a hole in your pocket. This chain of teppanyaki places has consistently good food prepared right before you, and it's eat till you drop. May also have an all-you-can-eat Haagen Dazs ice cream option for extra. If you're feeling brave, try the snake pancakes! ¥150
  • New Cafe (Sculpting in Time), Corner of Qingdao and Hankou Lu (next to Nanjing University). Self-consciously contemporary restaurant/lounge with a fairly extensive selection of western brunch fare: waffles, omelets, french toast, paninis. They also have a good selection of coffee, tea, and rather decadent desserts. The food here - sort of continental American with the inevitable anomalies - is good, particularly in the presentation; however, beware of the service. If you just want to have a sundae or french toast and don't mind having to hunt down a server, this is a great place. Wireless access here if you have a China Mobile or China Unicom account. At least ¥50 per person for tea and a pastry, but you should probably plan on ¥80, with a full breakfast or lunch even more.
  • Prime, Intercontinental Hotel (Zifeng Tower) 78th floor, 1 Zhong Yang Road, Gulou District, 210008. 5-10. The tallest bar, lounge and restaurant in Jiangsu Province, Prime offers a spectacular view of Nanjing in a western setting with superior service and gourmet international cuisine. The Cigar lounge features a live music stage (western jazz musicians play irregularly) and a fully-stocked bar with a large selection of wines, beer, and over 100 specialty cocktails.

  • If you have some time to explore, check out a few other options in Nanjing, including the two restaurants in the upscale shopping area of Deji Plaza on the 7th floor as well as a cafe on the 3rd floor. All three are good stopping points after a hard day's shopping at Louis Vuitton, or just before hitting the arcade or cinema. Near the New Cafe on Qingdao Lu is a small German cafe inconspicuously tucked away. Very good coffee in a cozy Bavarian/Thuringian environment. Expect to pay at least ¥25 for a good cup of coffee (which is the same as anywhere in Nanjing). Also worth checking out is a restaurant on the outskirts of Confucious Temple that offers a 14 course dinner; it might best be described as Chinese tapas. This is a very good way to sample dishes that you might not want to purchase entree-sized portions of anywhere: coagulated duck's blood soup, tofu, and so on. A fun way for more finicky groups to experience real Chinese food.


Night life in Nanjing is very much alive, and you can find the epicenter in Nanjing's 1912 District, which is comparable to Shanghai's Xintiandi. It is roughly a city block of two and three-story buildings, with paved courtyards between. Almost all are restaurants, bars or nightclubs, with a few spas and upmarket clothing shops in the mix. Many of the buildings look like they might have been around since 1912, and the newer ones match the style of the older ones. The location is great; right downtown just west of the Presidential Palace. There is underground parking for cars and extensive outdoor parking for bikes and motorcycles on the North side of the complex.

The area around Shanghai Lu, which runs between Nanjing University and Nanjing Normal University, has quite a few expats - mainly foreign students or English teachers from the two universities - and some places that cater to them. On Shanghai Lu near Guangzhou is "Blue Sky", an Aussie-owned bar with good music and a free pool table. Moving north from there is the Behind-the-Wall Cafe with reasonable Mexican food and drink. You can find good music just off Shanghai Lu, and one location for good Italian food and drink (Jack's), is on the last corner before Beijing Lu.

"Ellen's" on the intersection of Shanghai Lu and Guangzhou Lu is a dive bar popular with foreign exchange students. It is a western-style restaurant during the day and transitions into a bar around 8pm every night. It fills up every night with expats and foreign students, as well as plenty of young locals. Most are drawn because of the atmosphere, music, and nightly drink specials. The drinks are plentiful. A whiskey and Coke "bucket" is ¥25, and for many people contains enough alcohol to last the night. Make sure to get there early for a table, write your name on the wall, and say hi to Xingxing.

The Castle Bar on Zhongyang Lu (close to the Gulou intersection and right next to McDonalds) is Nanjing's most popular student/expat dive and is most crowded (and smokey) on Friday and Saturday nights. Entry is free and drinks are cheap (Y15 for a bud, Y10 for a tequila) and has live music on Saturday nights.

Other popular expat drinking spots include Jimmy's (on Hanzhong Rd West, just past the Bank of China) which is next to the YESBar nightclub/KTV and has excellent burgers, pizzas and Mexican food as well as a good choice of imported beers (mostly Australian) for about ¥20-30 a bottle and also has hookah pipes with various flavoured tobaccos (but no illegal substances, although they also stock Rizla Superking rolling papers... they're hard to come by in China).

Finnegans Wake Irish Bar is an authentic Irish bar on the Cinnalane development just north of Sanshan Street subway station, No. 400 ZhongShan South Road just north of ShengZhou Road. (Exit Sanshan Street subway station via exit 2. Walk 200 meters North. Turn left into the pedestrian mall at the underground car park entrance/Wang Steak. Walk thirty meters. Quickly you’ll see that familiar Guinness sign on your left.). The bar has excellent food (meals are in the ¥100 range) which use ingredients sourced from Ireland and there is a good choice of drinks including Kilkenny and Guiness (¥70 a pint). Good news if your tab gets too high - they take VISA cards! Tel 025 5220 7362;

  • Bloom's, no. 6 Cinnalane, S. Zhongshan Rd (above Finnegans Wake), ☎ 025 52207362. 5PM-11PM.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Nanjing on Wikivoyage.